Noted centrally down, in white, 1946-1989
Ion Grigorescu is one the most important Romanian artists of the communist period. He was one of the first Romanian conceptual artists and advocates of anti-art, postulating a radical consolidation of artistic activities with quotidian life. He created numerous films, photographic series, as well as drawings and collages that documented both his private life and the transition of Romanian people from life under a communist regime to the realities of capitalism.
Communism has served as inspiration for several of Grigorescu's works. Among these one can mention "The Cultural Revolution" (1971) and "Electoral Meeting" (1975). However, Grigorescu has never expressed his position towards communism clearly. In fact, during the communist period, he obtained a commission from the state to paint the portrait of Nicolae Ceaușescu. The portrait, which entailed three representations of the leader in front of a scale model, was not bought, given that it did not comply with the iconography that was normally used when representing Ceaușescu.
Though created after the fall of communism, in 1991, this lot is equally ambiguous. It depicts the body of Nicolae Ceaușescu, who was shot during the 1989 revolution. The expression of the face and the clenched hands almost seem to induce pity. On the other hand, this vulnerable posture of the once fearsome leader can also be seen as a celebration of the overthrow of communism.
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